History of the 6 Hour - 1971 October 17

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Race Report

Everybody had weighed up the competition and with few exceptions Japanese machinery was the big choice.

Ten Honda CB75Os began the event and only three other machines were given any hope. They were the XS650 Yamahas of Ron Toombs/Eric Hinton and Tony Hatton/Paul Spooner, the Norton 750 of Brian Clarkson/Jeff Lucas and the Triumph Bonneville of John Warrian.

The question of tyre wear raised its head for the first time when Brian Hindle stated before the event that he would change tyres during the race. He didn’t but the late Max Robinson stopped just after half distance to change the rear K81 on his CB750 and lost second place.

Warrian’s Triumph broke a main shaft and dropped out and Atlee’s Norton lost ten laps in the pits as repairs were effected after a crash. Ron Toombs lost several laps when he ran out of fuel and several more when his rear chain broke.

So Honda 750s took seven of the first ten unlimited class placings. Honda 500s scored a one- two in the 500 class but only after the Mach Ill of Gary Thomas had a carburettor jam open in the last half hour, forcing him to retire.

Kawasaki S2 350 triples featured heavily in the 500 class starters but nearly half of them seized. Ken Blake rode the highest placed S2 to eleventh place outright and sixth in class.

The 250 class would have been a Suzuki benefit but for the efforts of “Barney” Horsman. Bill rode his usual gutsy ride on a DS7 Yamaha to win the 250 class by four laps and place eighth outright.

One Ducati 450 ‘desmo’ and one Velocette 500 contested the race. The Ducati crashed and the Velo retired after also crashing. A Bultaco Metralla finished sixth in the 250 class.

The only lady team to compete was the S2 Kawasaki pairing of Peggy Hyde and Janet Middleton.

Fastest lap and a new production lap record of 60.8 seconds was set by Hindle. His outright lap record at that time was 59.3 on an air-cooled TR2 350 Yamaha.

Lap scoring by the IBM computer came in for criticism for the first time.

Bill Horsman began a legal battle with the Willoughby Club after being disqualified for “illegal engine mods.” His claim of “misinterpreting the vague limits of the supp regs” was dismissed and he was not reinstated, until some 10 months later.  

The first three teams ran Dunlop K81 tyres in an event run entirely on a dry track.

Results


Unlimited

1

Bryan Hindle, Clive Kniqht

Honda CB750.

333 laps

2

Tony Hatton, Paul Spooner

Yamaha XS-2.

330 laps

3

Max Robinson, Bob Gault

Honda CR750.

328 laps

4

Geoff Sim, John Francis

Honda CB750

319 laps

5

Ron Toombs, Eric Hinton

Yamaha XS650

314 laps

6

Len Atlee, Mike Steele

Norton 750

313 laps

7

Brian Clarkson, Geoff Lucas

Honda CB750

310 laps

8

Graeme Tierney, Carey Maher

Honda CB750

302 laps

9

Marc Caux, Greg Bowen

Honda CB750

301 laps

10

Bob Pressley, Elmer McCabe

Honda CB750

256 laps

500cc

1

Bill Burnett, lan Cameron

Honda CB5OO.

324 laps

2

Paul Giles, Jim Scaysbrook

Honda CB500.

323 laps

3

Peter Stronach, Kevin Cass

Suzuki T500.

322 laps

4

Jens Olsen, Jack Ahearn

Suzuki T315

321 laps

5

Dave Burgess, Joe Eastmure

Suzuki T315

318 laps

6

Rob Hinton, Ken Blake

Kawasaki S2 350

316 laps

7

Ross Barelli, Graeme Laing

Suzuki T315

310 laps

8

Keo Madden, Rob Madden

Kawasaki H1 500

308 laps

9

Murray Ogilvie, Bernie Kolber

Yamaha R5 350

306 laps

10

Alan Dale, John Glew

Suzuki T500

303 laps

250cc

1

Bill Horsman, Bill McBride

Yamaha DS7.

319 laps

2

Mike Richardson, Ron Ferrier

Suzuki T250.

315 laps

3

Warren Willing, Murray Sayle

Suzuki T250.

313 laps

4

Richard Steam, Greg OGrady

Suzuki T250.

309 laps

5

Eddie Canon, Darryl Brooks

Suzuki T250

305 laps

6

Alan Primmer, Paul Gimbert

Bultaco 250

304 laps

7

Steve Chiodo, Harold Han

Suzuki T250

303 laps

8

Digger Marsh, Jack Saunders

Suzuki T25O

303 lap

9

Ray Stone, Cohn Bradtord

Yamaha 250

301 laps

10

Mick O’Brien, Ron Burke

Yamaha 250

297 laps

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